The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1997 - Psychology - 271 pages
2 Reviews
At first it appears that nothing could be easier than seeing. We just focus our eyes and take in whatever is before us. This ability seems detached, efficient and rational - as if the eyes were competent machines telling us everything about the world without distorting it in any way. But those ideas are just illusions, James Elkins argues, and he suggests that seeing is undependable, inconsistent and cauthg up in the threads of the unconscious. Blindness is not the opposite of vision, but its constant companion, and even the foundation of seeing itself. Using drawings, paintings, diagrams and photographs to illustrate his points, Elkins raises intriguing questions and offers astonishing perceptions about the nature of vision.
 

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THE OBJECT STARES BACK: On the Nature of Seeing

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Unfocused but frequently illuminating meditations on how we see and how we don't. What the deconstructionists did for language, exposing its grave limitations and fallibilities, Elkins attempts to do ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mosaic42 - LibraryThing

From the Introduction: "Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer. Seeing is metamorphosis, not mechanism." This is an axiom of how I see and think. (john) Read full review

Contents

Introduction
11
One Just Looking
17
Two The Object Stares Back
46
Three LOOKING AWAY AND SEEING
86
Four Seeing Bodies
125
Five What Is a Face?
160
Six Blindness
201
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